Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Traveling into December!

So another November comes to an end. I paid my bills this month doing nothing but acting/dance odd jobs. I got callbacks. I made a giant ass of myself a few times. And I danced for Jesus and belted my face off on a regular basis. Then I wrapped it all up with Thanksgivings and Christmas tree decoratings. (Yes, I did mean for both of those to be plural.)
Settling into life after college has been interesting. And fun. I had been programmed for the goal of college. 4 sleepless years later, the university kicks you to the curb. "Go conquer the world, and do and use all that stuff we taught you." I was so scared when I crammed my life into my compact car and moved to New Jersey. What was I doing? I never had ambitions to be a star. I just wanted to dance around the room and play let's pretend for the rest of my life. And I still do.
What strikes me is that there is so much out there. Yes, you have to weed through lots of crap, but eventually so thing will sparkle. Just keep putting yourself out there. Sometimes you fall on your face. Get right back up and keep going. There is always another road to take and lots of destinations. Go traveling! (I'm waiting for a delayed flight right now. Travel is on the brain!)
On a less squooshey and inspirational note, my little brother lit himself on fire and missed Thanksgiving dinner (2nd Thanksgiving the one that actually occurred on Thanksgiving.) He is a freshman in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A and M. Shining his shoes, he overmelted the shoe polish, lit it on fire, and then proceeded to spread the fire to his pants, floor, and desk. He wasn't hurt, so it's a funny story to spread. Apparently lighting the wax on fire is a regular Corps whoopsie. Plus he already had a nick name, so he won't spend his collegiate years as "Sparky." He ended up with one doozie of a nickname already. He is big boy. He plays rugby and towers over most his classmates and a lot of the upperclassmen. So they have named him Shamu. I look forward to Shamu themed presents I get to give him over the next few years!
If I make it to New Jersesy tonite (pray to the weather gods for me), I have a full day of auditions slated for tom. Rehearsal on Thurs for a gig in Atlantic City. Then I get to work at Ceasar's Palace this weekend. Hello December!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being A Crazy Person....

I've been super busy of late. Which is awesome.
Saturday night I worked a benefit for St. Francis Hospital. Note to self, next time I work a Catholic hospital benefit, look for a priest's collar before I start flirtily hawking my candy cigarettes. Or a Bishop's miter. Whoops.
Sunday night I worked my first overnight for a big feature film called Fiona's Tale. (Google it.) I signed a non disclosure agreement for the first time in my life. No movie stars involved, just a bunch of extras, PA's, and some rain. At least it was warm outside!
Now being a crazy person, I proceeded to go home, sleep two hours, and head back to midtown for an audition. Why? Because this dinner theatre in the middle of nowhere had White Christmas on it's roster. Someday, I will book White Christmas! And a Christmas Carol! Just not at the same time.
Tired and wonkey, I sang around three. Super live room, attempted soft belting (hahahaha), and a dance callback at 6. In flats. Which meant they weren't currently looking for White Christmas ladies. Great. Happy Days, Smokey Joe's, and Little Shop. I had showgirl wear and sneakers. Tacky!
Grabbed a skirt on sale at H and M to wear with the leotard and sneaks. Starbucks for dinner (I'm living off gift cards from my parents. Win!) And back to Pearl to get thru it on very little sleep.
Of course it was fast, long, and energetic. It was the dance off scene from Happy Days (a show I should apparently get to know better). I killed it. At least I think I did. Sleep deprivation plus adrenaline doesn't lead to the best perception of events. I danced for Jesus. And hopefully he will answer me with a job (I did see stars after I did the ending layout. A sign from the heavens? Or just my low blood pressure kicking in?)
This theatre only hires a small chunk of people from New York. If they are looking for dancers, I should have a job. But the harsh reality of it is they might just be looking for certain roles. You go in, dance for Jesus, sing for Allah, and then pray to Buddah that you fill their casting holes. Putting yourself in the right place at the right time is a huge part of it. "Luck if you've ever been a lady to being with...."
Being crazy, I caught a flight early Tuesday to Tejas for some Thanksgiving with the family. I have already missed first Thanksgiving, but I will make second and third Thanksgiving. My parents treated me to TexMex and an epic liquor run. (It's the yearly holiday stock up!) I made pumpkin cookies and slept for eleven hours. I've already got one big gig booked with Chezzam the first weekend of December. No need to panic over my life for the next few days. I can relax, sleep, catch up with the big Irish fam, and drink and eat too much. Sounds like a great vacation to me! :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun, Sweat, and Cake in a Mug

Yesterday I went to A Spiderman call. It was fun. We were taught the bit with the Green Goblin hallucinating the crazy versions of the students cheering him on. Totally took me back to my Reefer Madness days in college. Good times. They weren't currently hiring, but I worked up a sweat and had a good time.
This morning I went to a Mamma Mia! call. It was tons of fun. It was pretty much a Chezzam event. Ponies, cheezy improv, and dance club music. (Born This Way for my dear friend Lord GaGa. If only he had been there.) I had a great time. I did the bump and shimmied with complete strangers. A successful morning indeed.
I came home early to avoid the Occupy Wall Streeters subway story telling plans. They plan to occupy 16 stops at 3. I don't know what will happen, I just hope there is no violence. "Times is hard" and that can bring out the worst in people. It can also bring out the best. I will hope for that as I clean and eat my cake in a mug out in my Jersey apartment. Yes, Thursday afternoon is a great time to make cake in a mug. Nom nom nom!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Irish In The Best Way Possible

So yesterday for lack of something better to do, I went to a Wiz call. Nothing else was going on. So why not?
The production team was all black with a concept for the show. (Anyone with a college theatre degree hears the word concept and groans. I def did.) It was post Katrina New Orleans and all about being black. Needless to say, they cut me. I'm used to being the whitest girl in the room, just not by that much. Free class and a side of awkwardness.
Rock of Ages non union tour this morning. They started off by telling us they weren't actually hiring. And that they wouldn't consider anyone who was dressed. Though they did keep people who were covered. Hmmmm. Well. I went in a bra, bootie shorts, and fishnets. No job, but kudos to myself to working it out amongst the skinny minnies.
Kiling time before I go sing for another audition. Titanic. I'm great with period white people shows. Irish steerage passengers? Wait, that was my family.
The Starbucks at 54th and B'way is my favorite in the city. The staff is always awesome. The music is usually jamming. And you're still close enough to Times Square that people watching can be really funny. Tourists make my day. (The old lady at the payphone in a polka dot cardigan and black canvas Indiana Jones-esque hat is quickly becoming my new hero.)
This week is pretty hopping, which is good. I'm just trying to make as many calls as I can. I'm working at a hospital benefit on Sunday. I'm a cigarette girl at a speakeasy, and we are getting raided by the Keystone copes. Cheesey? Yes. I would like some Velveeta with my cheese whiz. Then it's back to Houston where I will hit up three different family Thanksgivings. My family likes to party. Especially if there is food and booze involved. We are Irish in the best way possible. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mazel Tov! Or Making Money

I drove into midtown yesterday. There is a reason no one drives into midtown. It sucks.
I started off with construction in Jersey. Led to backup in Manhattan. Batman filming made getting over the bridge to Queens hellish. I had the company choreographer in the car along with several other dancers. The guys are both superchill. They took being stuck in traffic the only way you can around here- with weary resignation. It is what it is.
The odd mix of aggressive and passive driving actually makes sense in the city. It's almost a collaborative effort in driving. Certainly less frustrating than rush hour in downtown Houston. The driving is aggressive, but in a give and take sort of way. New York City would be much more frightening to drive thru if they all drove like Texans. Of course, Texans would not jaywalk as much as New Yorkers. But if you go by stereptypes, they would also have guns. Traffic violence Tejas style.
Even though the driving to and from was not an easy gig, the gig itself was very easy. The Bar Mitzvah boy had mild asbergers that he had channeled into instruments. He did some pretty impressive guitar, drums, and piano playing with the band. Which was also awesome because the dance floor became a concert floor. With everybody watching and not dancing, less work for us!
The moms were having a great time and dancing up a storm, which made our job so much easier. Our boss even cut our number because the dance floor was going strong and she didn't want to stop it. We flashmobbed it instead.
One long roundabout drive home, after inching thru the Holland Tunnel and taking detours (I would rather have paid the toll and gotten home earlier. Or really, I would rather Chezzam had paid the toll), I finally made it home around 230 am. I had been gone for 12 hours. I made it in and out of midtown twice, made some money, and scared a bunch of young Jewish boys by asking them to dance. Not a bad day at all. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day of Wow...

Deadly Sins was all I hoped it would be. Cheesy sides and a constrant stream of dark haired women in their 20s. I did my best at being myself on camera. That is all I can do.
Afterwards, I went and grabbed Spiderman-Turn Off That Hot Tranny Mess rush tickets for Jeffrey and I.
Time killing in Manhattan with Jeffrey means lots of walking. I've been wearing myself to the bone lately, and I was thankful for the moments those long legs of his would stand still!
And then on to Spiderpig.
It was better than I thought it would be, but ultimately, it never felt like it had a mutli million dollar price tag. It felt more like an amusement park stunt show. The little boys behind me loved it, but it never really operated on an adult level.
Design wise, it felt confused. It started off fairly abstract. Lots of forced perspective and sketched out 2d items (which made both Jeffrey and I think of Reefer Madness!). The costumes weaved in and out of reality and several different comic book styles. I will never understand the impetus to put pretty, young things in unflattering costumes. Whether it is for style or God know what reason. Musical Theatre is not reality. There were also some heinous wigs. Yes, it is a comic book, but it was up to the design team to make it look like a real world, even if it was stylized. They ultimately failed. No one world ever really materialized in any of the designs. Costumes were super Halloween costumey and sets were often too flimsy for use. (And the costumes for the Sinister Six were super bad. They looked like bad team mascots. As a graduate of the University of Tulsa I know all about bad team mascots...Just google Captain Cane.)
Reeve Carney as Peter Parker: he was better after he became Spidey tastic and could rock it out. His acting and his singing were weak as nerdy Peter Parker. He did much better when he could emo kid rock it out in his angsty little skinny jeans.
Rebecca Faulkenberry was on her first night as Mary Jane, and you could tell. Her acting was better than Carney's (not hard to do) but she was slow catching her stride. Just about every song was pitchy in the beginning (Unlike the chorus, who was pitchy throughout.) Once she got her stride, she rocked out. She just had to trip a few times first. (Shame on whoever dressed her constantly in unflattering pink things. What were they thinking?)
I'm not sure why TV Carpio's character was even kept in the show. Probably just to use the wires more. She did a decent job. All she had to was sing and hang. Vocally she was good, but half the time you didn't even see her face. Really, Arachne needs to be played by Bijork. Weird hanging Spidey lady guiding emo little Pete- definitely Bijork territory.
Patrick Page was the saving grace of the show. As Dr. Osbourne and the Green Goblin, he surpassed everyone else on stage. Though his comedic green "Splat" death was anti-climactic, he was fabulous. With some fabulous acting chops and a super awesome low rumbly voice, he even managed to command the stage during the most ludicrous plot points. He really needs to play Sweeney Todd. Swing that razor high, Patrick!
The choreo was a mix of modern and music video but it was never really that exciting. nir was the flying. Or the music. (Sorry Bono. I didn't come singing Spiderman. I was still singing Pal Joey from the night before.)
It could have been cool. It was sadly safe and unaffective. The entire show could have benefitted from staying away from some of the tricks and actually focusing on a plot. And cutting out the sinister six college mascots. Swiss Miss, Swarm, the Lizard, Electro, Kraven, and Carnage are just laughable. All in all, I would rather have been next door seeing Frank Langella in Man and Boy. Or quite a few other things.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hey! Where'd You Get Those Beautiful Blue Eyes?

At least I was done early today. Royal Caribbean was looking for dancers for their ship that does Chicago. Last time I auditioned for one of their musical ships, it was for Hairspray. I found out while there, that you also must dance the second show on the ship. Which was Cirque de cheesey. One of the tricks pulled me out of the running before I hit the third combination (which just happened to be the musical theatre combination). I was also the shortest girl in the room at that point. By a lot.
Long and the short of it, the girls didn't have to sing. They mouth the words on the ship. So what I thought would give me a leg up didn't, and they hired more all American looking, but still fairly typical cruise line dancers.
Chicago- they have to sing right. This will be different. I didn't make it past the typing combo. Woo! I know it wasn't technique or dancing. It was things like height and look. So, I got a latte and hopped on a train home. On my way back to Penn Station (all of like four blocks), I had two different big, blue collar guys tell me I had beautiful eyes. Not bad. The one even fought a little bit with his friends over telling me I was pretty. I might not always appeal to the sparkly musical theatre gays, but the straight men like me.
I loafed and did office work from home. It was nice to be a bum. And I got a call for an audition tom. It is an awesomely ridiculous job. It's for one of those hokey true crime shows. "Deadly Sins." Awesome!
A fellow set of blue eyes. I watched Pal Joey today for the five millionth time, so he was on my mind. And I like to add pictures to my posts. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Not Model-y

Open call for Jersey boys. They were totally looking for girls who were model/music video-esque. I worked it, but knew I was getting cut. Oh well. It could always be worse.
I have to mind myself when they keep nothing but giraffey girls that there are jobs when they are out and I am in. We all have our time and season. And we make do until it comes along.
As a friend of mine said recently "You dance at bar mitzvahs....I play at bar mitzvah services." I worked with her years ago in Houston when I did Big River. She pulled me in for a few auditions in Houston, and she is super chill and awesome to work with. She is back in New York and working on the recording of a new musical. She asked to come sing for it. So of course, I said yes. It won't be a lot of money, but that is fine. It is work that I want to be doing. And she was so much fun to work with. Silver lining to my not a model cloud. Goodbye tall girls. Rockin the average height. And working it out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Norma Jean Baker and Another Indie

The last few days have been nutz. I was last minute background on a bad indie film. I was cocerned about my early morning with Chezzam and wasn't going to take, but the casting directir said she could send me on the morning portion of the shoot instead of the evening one. We were supposed to be college kids, and the three early morning pickups looked like college kids. Which meant the director liked us. He had been having problems getting bacground he liked. Ge said that bacground for one scene that was wpsupposed to be collegiate looked "like an AA meeting." So h wanted to keep us for the second shift. At very little overtime. On Stanten Island. Blegh. (The casting director did strike again with an evening group of what the hells. It was supposed to be a frat party. It looked more a community college in Williamsburg. Hipsters.)
The short of a long day is that I ended up back home around 2am. I was driving for Chezzam and I had nothing prepared. My bag wasn't packed. My tax forms were not filled out. I crashed out and got up at 630 to get ready and go!
The party was huge and went well. I spent two hrs as Marilyn standing over a grate with air flowing up my skirts. While guests making jokes about how it was breezy (really clever guys), I was more concerned about loosing feeling to my feet.
After a whole lot of dancing, some quick cleaning of faces and dressing rooms, and an attack on the leftover gelato, I drove the Jersey contigent back. Not a bad way to make some money. I have a rehearsal for a Bar Mitzvah today. Possibilites of background work in the next few days. I'm working! It might not be Chekhov, but who cares! (or even likes Chekhov)

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Aways Thought I was More of a Jane

On Sunday I'm working with a company that does party entertainment. And somehow, I have ended up as theur Marilyn Monroe for their Hollywwod review. I always thought that I was more akin to Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but it's fun to get a brief chance at being blonde. And diamons are a girl's best friend. :)
I really love Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It's like Christmas, but better. Sparkles, tap dancing (it's my Christmas after all), and plenty of gorgeous dresses and shoes. Who's cooling it with Coolidge? This crazy lady!
I'm killing time between our six hour rehearsal and an audition for some short Christmas plays. I haven't cold read in a while. We shall see how this goes. I'm hoping I get to read from the script with a trampy Martha Crachitt. Cause that whole idea makes me giggle.
Yesterday I went to the Chicago ECC. After a long wait they typed the shorties out. It was a mandatory union call, not actually hiring call. Boo. But I feel less crabby about after doing ridiculous dances all day long today. I can't wait to go home and crash out. I'm sleeping good tonight.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How SAG Helped Me Pay For A Haircut

Last night it was cold in Williamsburg. 30 something degrees. Not exactly good t-shirt weather. The Indie French feature I was doing background for was set in the summery- spring. Or something along those lines. Somewhere much warmer than the busy street corner we were standing on dressed as hipsters in the summer looking enviously at the real hipsters parkas and big sweaters. (One girl had a cape. It brought about more cape lust. As a kid, I wore my mom's cape from the 70s until it died. I now see capes and want one.)
The holding room (2 blocks aways) wasn't any better. It was gutted and unheated. Crafty was also fairly far (in the other direction) though there was good coffee. It was just hard to sneak off to. S0, we were COLD.
Luckily, one of the extras had the good common sense to call the union. Union rep arrives, we spent the rest of the shoot in a heated van with wonderful hand warmers. Real hipsters were already all over those shots of frozen young French people. Plus, we got a 50 dollar bump in our pay!
So today, I went and got my hair cut with my 50 dollar bump. The back of my bob is stacked quite nicely again and the edges are crisp and clean. It is once again too short to put in a pony tail. This means that for my long dance rehearsal with Chezzam on Friday, there is going to be some pigtail action! What every rehearsal needs. :)